Not Just a Pretty Voice: Part 3

This will not be easy.

I’m sure it sounds like I’m trying to put you off. In a way, I am. Voiceover is a very crowded marketplace – becoming more so – and those who want to do it on the side with little investment for a few extra pounds income will probably fail.

However. There’s room for everyone and it is possible to make it a career and a full-time job. It took me 2-3 years from the point I focussed on VO as a business full-time to make a living from it and I had been acquiring and honing the skills that would allow me to do so for more than ten years.

Being a working VO with a home studio is not a job you can do if you’re starting from scratch and have no other source of income. I promise you, unless you’re very, VERY lucky, in the first year you will not make back the money you had to invest just to get started. It’s both a business and a skill and it only becomes easy once you’ve invested the time, effort and finances to make it that way.

So, caveats over. Still want to do this? Okay then…


You’re going nowhere without one of these. This part is a bit chicken and egg. You need a voice reel, but you have nowhere to record. So you could skip the demo and set up your home studio, then you can start recording to your heart’s content. But if you’re a complete newbie to the technical side, then your first recordings are unlikely to be anywhere near the standard of a pro recording. So, take EVERY opportunity to record something, anything, in as professional an environment as possible. Try hospital radio stations, or other local studios. Record in as many places as possible to get different sounds.

 There is nothing worse than a demo recorded entirely in a pro studio using the same scripts, the same music, the same microphone on the same day. Despite your best efforts, the whole reel will sound exactly that – “samey”! However, mixed with other recordings on different days and in different places it demonstrates the variety of recordings you have. I’ve heard good things about The Showreel They also do workshops.

If some of your recordings are not as good quality as you’d like but the read/performance is good (it’s a fine line, be careful!) then it may also be worth including. Duration: Short. Seriously. 60-75 seconds is perfect. You may eventually need different, even shorter demos for different styles, but to start with, use a mixture of your best stuff.

In Part 4, it’s get scary. You’re going to need to get techie.